Stockton Camera Club, JFC, 1968


The Stockton Daily Evening Record of Thursday, November 11, 1948 has following front page news article:

Stockton Daily Evening Record, Nov 11, 1948

“The Stockton Camera Club was organized last night with 47 camera enthusiasts on hand for the meeting in Weber School Auditorium.

The Club will meet every two weeks, with the next session set for November 23 at a place to be announced.

Officers will be named by a nominating committee of Jack Tener, Ed Jones, Joel Dardis, Irene Canton and Alice McAllister.

By-laws committee is composed of Claude Sutherland, W.G. Neil and F. E. Moran. Bud Reiman is program chairman for the next meeting.

It is planned to alternate competition and demonstration at meetings. Field trips are also planned.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Joel is part of this venture. In 1948 his goal was to become a professional photographer.

So it was fun surprise to find a 4×5″ negative sleeve in the Jessica Fong Collection of Dardis negatives that said “Camera Club, San Jose, 1968.” This is actually the first sign I found that this club was active, some 20 year after founding !

Although all next negatives are 4×5″, they appear to be photographed on 120 format roll film (2 1/4″ format) and cropped/enlarged onto 4×5″ film for contact printing or possibly even an 8×10 enlargement.

First image shows a behind-the-scenes shot. There’s a large group of photographers on hand at what appears a motel or hotel setting in San Jose. There’s clearly a variety of cameras in use, ranging from medium format SLR, TLR and 35mm rangefinder and SLR. I couldn’t find any large format shooters in this crowd.

Behind-the-scene shot, 3 photographers working with a model, San Jose, 1968

The flash unit in these behind-the-scene images is a Honeywell Strobonar, a popular unit at the time. The camera in the center is a Rolleiflex TLR.

Behind-the-scene shot, 2 photographers working with a model, San Jose, 1968

Although the group of photographers is mostly male, it is good to see there are a few woman photographers present also. At the founding on the Stockton Camera Club, women were part of the nominating committee. Photography in Stockton was alive and well in 1968.

And not unsurprisingly, these events also bring onlookers. The young men in the above image all wear a shirt with an “IDAHO” logo, possibly members of a sports team.

Stockton Camera Club photo event, San Jose, 1968
Stockton Camera Club photo event, San Jose, 1968

It an take a bit of time and effort to get solo-time with the models when in a large crowd. A lot of time is spent waiting, gear talk and reciting tall tales.

Stockton Camera Club photo event, San Jose, 1968
Stockton Camera Club photo event, San Jose, 1968

Joel used fill flash in the above two images to make sure the faces are properly lit without racoon eyes. Pro-tip.

A “thank you” to Jessica Fong for digging up the Stockton Camera Club article in the Stockton Record, and sharing here collection to be scanned, digitized and discussed.

Cheers !

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